As the GT Project moves along, I will share various companies, services and contacts that may be useful to others considering doing similar work on their MGs. One of the greatest things about being a part of the fraternity of British car enthusiasts is that people are always so willing to share their experiences and resources to help keep our LBCs on the road and enjoyable for many miles. If you have a recommendation or a resource you think is particularly good and useful, please share it by dropping me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to check it out and share it. Please know that these R&Rs come from my direct experience or the experience of others. They are personal recommendations, not paid endorsements. This blog is about helping others and sharing my experiences in a fun way. It’s not about money! All I ask is that you let them know that you were referred to them by me through this blog. Also, if you ever have a problem with one of my recommendations, please let me know. While I might not be able to solve it, I want to know what’s going on out there.
The Boston Area MG Club: www.bostonareamg.com
Naturally, this is the first resource that I am going to share with any British car owner in New England. While I may be prejudiced, as the President of the Club, it is one of the fastest-growing, friendliest and active clubs in the Northeast. Whether you own a British car or are just thinking about it, getting hooked up with the right club is an absolute must. The benefits of shared resources, experience and the social networking are positively immeasurable. If you’re new to the hobby, you’ll gain valuable insight from the people that have gone before you and avoid making costly mistakes. If you are an old hand at this, you can impart your sage wisdom to the next generation and help to keep the hobby alive and active by your participation. The BAMG Club has a variety of members and cars and, despite the name, we’re not just for MG owners anymore. All British Marques are welcome. Check it out and join the fun.
British Motorworks/ Michael Crawford: Emailemail@example.com / (617) 320-2647
Mike has been into all things mechanical since he was old enough to hold a wrench. This led him to be one of the founding members of the BAMG Club and eventually open his own shop in Hopkinton, MA. Besides Mike’s encyclopedic knowledge and experience with most every model of MG, his talents run the gamut from most British brands to Ferraris, Porshe and motorcycles (He has owned them all). Whether it’s a simple fix, a heavier job or a full bore restoration, Mike has the resources and talents to handle the job. Many BAMG Club members, including myself, have availed themselves of his services and have become regular customer.
We have all experienced what happens to leather with age. Left untreated and abused, it dries out, becomes stiff and will disintegrate eventually. To replace a leather interior can cost thousands of dollars and the pieces might not even be available, leading to even more costly custom work. Maybe your upholstery has started to crack or the color has faded with the passing of time. What do you do? I found the answer in a conversation I had with the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation Director, Sheldon Steele (no relation). Part of the mission of the museum is to help local enthusiasts preserve their cars. They were working on a 60’s Cadillac that had terrible deterioration and discoloring in the interior. They were using the Color-Plus products to revive and recolor the seats and were having great results. After looking at the restored and unrestored portions of the seats, I went home and ordered the Super Cleaner and the Soffener. At the time, I was working on the restoration of a 1969 Rover 2000 TC whose interior was in dire need of attention. While the leather seats were all there and in reasonable condition, they were dirty, stiff and starting to crack. After following the instructions and cleaning the leather with the Super Cleaner (wear gloves), I applied copious amounts of the Soffener. The trick that I learned from Sheldon, was to wrap the seats in plastic wrap between coats of this conditioner. This kept the water-based carrier from drying out and kept the conditioner moister for longer, allowing it to penetrate deep into the leather and do its job. I coated and wrapped the seats several times over the next few weeks, keeping them in my basement and near the warm furnace. When the final wraps came off and I buffed off the residue, the seats had become supple and soft and almost glowed. No one can believe that the seats are all original and in such good shape. I now retreat the seats several times during the summer (the hot sun works great) and am sure to put a final coat and wrap on them before the car gets put away for winter. My experience with the Color-Plus products made me a believer and once you’ve tried it, you will be too.
MacKay’s Garage: http://www.mackaysgarage.com/index.html / Phone: 781-245-3887
One of the top requests we get from people is who can we recommend for a mechanic to work on their cars. There are many good mechanics throughout New England, but few have the experience and reputation of Steve MacKay of MacKay’s Garage in Wakefield, MA. Steve not only has over 30 years of experience of work on all manner of British cars, but he is also one of the founding members of the Boston Area MG Club. His services range from general repairs and maintenance to full blown restorations and all points in between. He has several award-winning restorations to his credit and can even help the person looking to either buy or sell their LBC. Steve offers wonderful personalized and knowledgeable service that has made him the “go-to” guy for many of the Club’s members.
Brit-Tek Ltd: http://www.brittek.com/ / Phone: 1-800-255-5883
There are any number of vendors ready and willing to sell you parts for your MGB. In fact, one of the beauties of the MGB is that just about every part you may need is still available over 30 years after the model (and company) ceased to exist. The MGB remains so popular that there are even modern solutions and upgrades available to address the car’s engineering weaknesses. The question is who do you do business with and what makes the most sense for your car? Brit-Tek Ltd., located in the woods of Deerfield, NH, is a different kind of operation. First, they are a small, family-owned company that focuses exclusively on MGBs and is dedicated to providing old fashioned Customer Service. Bob, the owner, is always available to discuss your project and to offer helpful advise and encouragement. Secondly, they have worked to put together a number of turn-key kits to address the typical areas of an MGB restoration (i.e. Engine and Brake Kits both major and minor, Suspension Kits, Clutch, Exhaust and Interior Kits) All these kits are designed to give you all the components needed to rebuild that area of your car. Brit-Tek will also work to tailor each kit to meet your needs. (Want slotted discs in your brake kit?…no problem. Don’t need the springs in your suspension kit or want nylon bushing instead of rubber?…they can do that). One of the best kits they offer is their Weber Conversion Kit. This is a complete kit to replace your SU carbs with more modern technology. What makes their kit different from others is that Bob re-jets each carburetor to the correct specification before sending it out. This insures that you’ll have a great working carb, right out of the box. No one else offers this service. Besides kits, they also offer a complete line of parts at competitive prices. Combine all of this with personal service and knowledgeable advise, and you can’t go wrong.
Tacoma Company: http://tacomacompany.com/ / Phone: 509-732-6286
This is a new relationship for me, but if first impressions are anything, this resource will be a gold mine for all of you garage hobbyists who are looking to pick up a sand blast cabinet or looking to make yours work better. I ran across this company in a YouTube video when I was doing research on buying and modifying a Harbor Freight cabinet. I really need a sand blast cabinet for my garage and for the work I want to do on my upcoming projects. The Tacoma Company is a small, family run business located in Washington state, close to the Canadian border. Mike, the owner, is an encyclopedia of media blasting knowledge and is passionate about helping others with their projects and equipment. Besides selling all types of blasting media, they have developed a line of blast cabinet modifications and accessories that will help the hobbyist and small business owner get the most out of basic blast cabinet and make it perform like a unit costing thousands more. Mike is always available to talk to you by phone and share his knowledge and advise on whatever projects or issues you have. He believes in old fashioned customer service and his products are made in the USA and designed and manufactured by him personally. Custom solutions are a specialty of Mike’s. Watch the video of one of their products here on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7llrNNrsS74 I’ll be making a complete post when I get my cabinet and the Tacaoma Company kit and accessories, so check back soon.